The Which Way photo challenge is all about capturing the roads, walks, trails, rails, steps, signs, etc. we move from one place to another on. You can walk on them, climb them, drive them, ride on them, as long as the specific way is visible.
Self decided to comb through her archives for stairs or steps. Here’s what she found:
Cal Shakes stage, Orinda
Main Entrance, Mendocino Hotel
Entrance to Blenheim Palace, England
Wider view of the entrance to Blenheim Palace
Entrance to Japanese Tea Garden, Golden Gate Park
San Jose Convention Center during last summer’s SilCon
This chapter is fascinating, simply fascinating. According to Rachman, both David Cameron and Boris Johnson expected Yes Leave to lose. When it won instead, David Cameron resigned that very day, and the path for Johnson to become prime minister was suddenly wide open. That was the moment when, according to Steve Bannon, who was managing Trump’s campaign, he “knew” Trump would win. Nigele Farage was the first foreign politician to meet with Trump after his improbable victory.
The Boris Johnson/Donald Trump synchronicity:
Melania, Trump’s third wife, was 24 years younger than him. Johnson’s third wife, Carrie, was twenty-three years younger than Boris.
Johnson’s most important policy was to take Britain out of the European Union, while “Trump made it clear that he regarded NATO as biased against American interests and toyed with withdrawing from the Western alliance.”
Both Trump and Johnson capitalized on hostility to mass immigration.
Johnson believed that he alone “had the strength to deliver Brexit,” echoing Trump’s assertion that “only I can fix it.” He also brought up the “deep state,” a vast conspiracy to overturn the Brexit vote in the referendum.
Self remembers attending a talk about Trump’s dementia (That was the actual topic: Trump’s dementia, it was printed in the conference programme and everything, har har har). Who knew that Trump’s dementia would turn into accusations of “Joe’s dementia” the following year! The talk took place in a 12th century church in the picturesque Cornwall seaside town of Fowey. It was May 2019.
The speaker said he didn’t think England would go the authoritarian route because “England has the BBC; America has Fox News.” The bashing went so hard that, after the presentation, an English couple next to self felt compelled to apologize for all the “bad things” the speaker had said about Trump. Self said: “Don’t apologize. I agree with him!” Only a few months later, in August 2019, Johnson would “prorogue parliament . . . to prevent it from getting in the way of Brexit.” And the rest is history!
Unfortunately for Johnson, the same day that Britain left the EU (end of January 2020) was also the “day that Britain announced its first case of coronavirus.” And Johnson’s rhetoric could not get around this new reality. Both Trump and Johnson mis-handled their respective country’s national response to the virus.
In May, self spent two weeks in an East London Airbnb. It had a wonderful location: just across the street from Haggerston Park. She had never been to this part of London before, so she spent much time exploring. The park was glorious, semi-wild in places, with a working farm at one end, the end near Hackney Road.
Self was first made aware of this garden while reading Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy. Will Parry and Lyra Belacqua come from parallel universes. Once a year, they “visit” each other by going to a bench in the Oxford Botanic Garden.
This year, after a three-year hiatus on traveling, self was finally able to return to the UK. The Oxford Botanic Garden was a required stop. These pictures were taken in the last week of May (thanks so much, Becky, for reviving the Squares challenge)
In May, self returned to England for the first time in three years. She decided to stay in an Airbnb in East London, a part of the city she’d never been to.
Her unit was directly across the street from Hackney City Farm (it’s on Hackney Road, which is a very fascinating road, a cross-section of London’s population, and hardly any tourists, ha!). She was so tickled to find an exact replica of a California organic farm. In East London! They sold all the same things she could get in a California organic market: raw yogurt, grains, fresh fruit and vegetables. Next to the farm was a small garden. So pretty! Self loved exploring the narrow pathways.
It was fun looking through the archives for photos taken at ground level.
Finally settled on two pictures she took last May while visiting the Oxford University Botanic Garden. The greenhouse housed all sort of exotic plants, such as these speckled beauties. Self didn’t know what they were, so she looked for the plant tag. It turned out to be underneath the hanging basket:
Seeing double is all about reflections—probably one of my biggest photographic obsessions. I tend to see them everywhere & actively seek them out when they’re not readily apparent. My reflection hunting started shortly after I got Snappy, my DSLR, 12 years ago with some poolside reflections.
This was such a fun challenge. Thank you for dreaming it up, Jez!
Lily pond, Oxford University Botanical Garden:
Ruth Asawa, permanent collection, De Young Museum, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco:
Alexander Calder mobile, from Calder/Picasso Exhibit, 2021, de Young Museum, Golden Gate Park:
Self has lately been thinking of adding a water feature to her garden (though, she is worried about Lucia falling in, so maybe not until she learns to swim). Here are examples from various gardens she has visited in the past month:
The Glasshouses, Oxford University Botanic Garden
Central Fountain, Oxford University Botanic Garden
Central Courtyard, Christchurch, Oxford University